“So, what are you going to do after graduation?”  Whether this question has come from your dad, your pastor, or your date sitting across the table, it has the potential to plague you like no other.  Having a viable plan for your career, locked and loaded, is no easy task, and plenty of excuses exist for avoiding the subject all together.

Maybe you feel that it is too early to start considering the future. You are thinking thoughts like, I’m still young; I’ve got time.  I get it. High school graduation feels like it was last month. Getting your braces off feels like it was yesterday… maybe it was yesterday. Mom does your laundry on the weekends. You don’t know how student loans work, and at this point, you’re too afraid to ask. ‘Adulting’ feels about as natural as a landline telephone.

On the other hand, perhaps you feel that you have waited too late:  I should have thought about this career thing a long time ago; I should’ve already applied to grad school; I guess that option is out the window now.  Obligations are piling high on your plate anyway this semester, so why not just enjoy college while it lasts and let the chips of your future fall where they may?

Whatever the reason might be for not planning your career, know this: it’s not too early; it’s not too late; and most importantly, it’s doesn’t have to be too scary.

But the future feels scary. Why? Because the future is in the realm of the unknown. The unknown is foggy, and visibility is low- making any progress slow and uncertain. You strain your eyes to discern what’s up ahead. You might see the blurry image of a childhood dream or the shadow of someone else’s desire. At this point, perhaps all you can see in front of you is grey nothingness.

In truth, we tend to freeze because of fear. As we continue to procrastinate, fear mounts and blocks us from moving forward. Necessary steps like exploring career options, developing experience, and writing a resume become marked with anxiety instead of excitement.

If planning for your career feels overwhelming, let me encourage you with this truth: sometimes, growing up is simply choosing to face the unknown. Forget about knowing all the answers ahead of time; do not stress about possible pitfalls up ahead.  The key is to begin. Lay aside those hidden fears and take a step forward today. Research that childhood dream job. Email that professor who knows you so well.  Stop by the Student Development Office to start the conversation. Remember, you don’t have to embark on this journey alone. But with each step that you take, your future will begin to take shape.


Havilah Miller is the Assistant Director of Student Development at TMU.

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